Seles survives lapse; 'My brain went away'


NEW YORK - Just a hiccup.

That's how No. 6 seed Monica Seles viewed the middle set of her match with qualifier Yoon Jeong Cho yesterday.

"That's how it goes," said Seles, who lost six straight games in the second set before pulling out the match, 6-1, 7-5, 6-3.

"If I have anyone to be mad at, it's myself. My brain went away from the court and it's just very, very windy out there. I'm not happy about it, but what can you do? She was very steady in that set."

Seles moved into the round of 16 and will next play No. 9 seed Martina Hingis, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Amanda Coetzer.

Over the past two years, Seles pointed out, early-round matches in Grand Slam tournaments have gotten a lot tougher.

"They used to always say, 'There's no depth,' " she said. "But now you can see the depth in the women's game."

Short day for Agassi

Andre Agassi barely stopped by the Arthur Ashe Stadium Court yesterday.

"I think you're always surprised when the score line suggests you have an easy match," he said after beating Ramon Delgado, 6-2, 6-1, 6-2. "But you have to work hard to make it turn out that way."

It was the second match in a row that Agassi has strolled through. He won his second-round match, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1. Even his first-rounder was less than taxing at 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

"[Yesterday's match] was closer than the score," Agassi said.

Stalking charge

A German man who has spent the last year pursuing Serena Williams around the world, saying he's in love with her, was arrested and charged with stalking the Open's top-seeded player.

Albrecht Stromeyer, 34, was taken into custody after a police officer spotted him watching Williams through a fence at the U.S. Tennis Center, police spokesman Det. Louis Camacho said.

Authorities said Stromeyer has followed Williams around the world since June 2001. During that time, he's allegedly sent repeated e-mails and made numerous phone calls in an effort to contact Williams.

Such a reward

Chanda Rubin, who has been playing better than ever since coming back from her latest knee operation, won again yesterday, beating Lisa Raymond, 7-6, 6-4. And what did she get as a prize for moving into the round of 16?

Venus Williams.

Williams, the No. 2 seed, advanced with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Martina Muller.

"I expect to definitely get better with each round," Williams said. "I'm trying hard. Trying to do the right things. Hopefully, I'll be rewarded for that."

Still has winning touch

Martina Navratilova, soon to be 46, and her mixed-doubles partner, Leander Paes, are hot.

They opened the tournament Friday night with an upset of No. 1 seeds Rennae Stubbs and Todd Woodbridge, 7-6(4), 7-5. Yesterday, they backed it up with another 7-6, 7-5 win - over Els Callens and Robbie Koenig.

In the dim past

No. 11 seed Andy Roddick celebrated his 20th birthday here Friday. Asked if he remembers the first time he was asked for an autograph, the American said, "I think I was at [Paris'] Roland Garros when I was 15, walking around. I was playing [qualifiers]. I think someone asked me. They said, 'Hewitt, Hewitt.' "

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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